Michael Schumacher: ‘Unknown person’ tried to sell ‘secret’ photos of F1 icon

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After suffering severe injuries from a skiing accident in 2013, Michael Schumacher and his family have lived a private life in their Swiss home. Very little information about the German has been revealed in the last eight years, with those close to him only providing irregular updates. While the Schumacher family take their privacy very seriously, this came under threat in 2016 when an unknown person tried to sell photos of Michael for around $1million (£740,000). At the time, media outlets were reportedly offered the chance to publish the first pictures of the German icon since his tragic accident.

According to broadcaster RTL, the person took photos of Schumacher while he was laying in his bed before trying to sell them.

German prosecutors in Offenburg later confirmed that “an unknown person” had taken “secret” pictures and had been offering them for “high amounts of money”.

This then triggered an investigation, where prosecutors described it as a “violation of his personal range of life” and a breach of his privacy.

The person who attempted to sell the photos remains unknown to this day, but was reported at the time to be a “friend” of the Schumacher family.

At the time, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm declined to get the family embroiled in the issue, saying: “Michael’s health is not a public issue, and therefore we will not comment on it.”

In 2019, Michael’s son Mick was left annoyed after he discovered photos falsely claiming to be of the Schumacher family circulating online.

The images appeared to show Schumacher holding a young Mick in one photo, and posing with a boy and girl in another.

However, it was not clear who the children in these pictures were.

During the 2019 controversy, Mick said: “These photos are often published because they supposedly show me as a child with my father.

“To clarify: these pictures here do NOT show me, and neither do they show Gina.

“I’m sorry for the people in these photos. I can only appeal to all media to remove them from their archives.”

Schumacher’s seven world titles are yet to be surpassed, with Lewis Hamilton looking to win his eighth this season.

But the Mercedes star could be denied if Red Bull’s Max Verstappen continues his incredible form.

The young Dutchman is gunning for his first title. and has gone 19 points clear at the top of the Drivers’ Standings with just four races remaining.

After winning in Mexico last week, Verstappen was compared to Schumacher.

Ross Brawn, now Formula 1’s motorsports managing director, said Verstappen’s pass on both Mercedes cars going into turn one was reminiscent of the German.

He said: “It reminds me of how Michael Schumacher used to spend a long time walking a track on the Thursday before a race weekend.

“He would look at corners and check out the escape routes if things go wrong. He would then know if you can escape safely from a bold move and be more confident of making that move.

“Max sussed out the first corner very well in Mexico and had the confidence to pull it off.”

Despite having been the dominant force in the sport for years now, Hamilton has expressed concern ahead of the next race in Brazil this weekend.

He said ahead of the race that his team could be in trouble.

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Hamilton said: “With their superior speed [in Mexico], if they were to carry that into the next ones then we may be in trouble – or we will be in trouble.”

Referring to the maximum-downforce rear wings on Verstappen and Sergio Perez’ cars, Hamilton added: “I don’t know if they’ll be using that huge wing [in Brazil] they had on [in Mexico]. We will find out when we get there, but I hope we’re closer.

“I need to be winning every race. We need those extra points, not to lose those points, to try and regain [the lead].

“That was the goal going into the last race and the race before that, and before that and in Mexico.”

The 36 year-old added: “You know, [I fear] they’re just too quick.

“We’re giving it absolutely everything we’ve got, but unfortunately it’s not enough at the moment to compete with them.”

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